Let's start with the benefits of cloth diapering and why I chose to do it:
Better for Baby: Babies that are cloth diapered have less issues with diaper rash, irritated bottoms and other complaints with disposable diaper use. Fewer chemicals touch baby and the less likely are they to be sensitive. The Grovia's that we use have an organic liner as well, which I like.
Cost Savings: A newborn will typically go through 8-12 diapers a day, and an older baby about 6-8. A disposable diaper costs about 0.29 each, so that adds up quite a bit. It's true, it is a bit costly to start up with cloth diapering (we spent about $800), but in the long run, with a first baby, it equals about the same, if not less, than buying disposable diapers. Now throw in kid number two and there is your savings right there.
Better for the Environment: Yes, there is more water usage with cloth diapers, but they don't take up room in a landfill and take hundreds of years to decompose. And poop is put in the toilet, not in the trash - definitely not where it should be.
Shorter Diapering Span: It's proven that cloth diapered babies are potty trained earlier because they feel the wetness more than with wearing disposables.
Super Cute: With all the prints and colours they come in, who wouldn't love them!
I basically follow what is suggested on the internet regarding washing. I use the brand Grovia. I have a couple other brands but have not used them yet.
After the diaper is wet or soiled, I place them in the wet bag. I have two of these so that when one is in the wash, the other is ready to use.
I use washcloths instead of wipes since it makes more sense to do that if I am going to cloth diaper anyway. Aside from that, it is so much easier to clean Ethan's bottom with them. I purchased them from Bummas. They are a great size, soft, and fit perfectly in the wipes warmer. My only gripe with them is that the blue dye did not totally rinse out of them and stained some of my liners. Thankfully it was only 4 of them. These go in the wash as well.
I wash diapers every other day. When I'm ready, I bring the bag full of diapers downstairs and dump them in the washer. I take out the very soiled diapers and rinse them in the laundry tub. (This isn't really necessary but I still feel better doing it). Then I put them on a rinse cycle in warm water.
When the rinse cycle is done, I go through the liners and spray them with Baby Oxy Clean and let them soak for a few minutes. Then I throw in the soap nuts (from Bare Organics as well), turn the wash on hot and wash away. (Don't mind the view of my ugly laundry room...wait it's not a room it's just a washer and dryer in a basement :( These are the times I really really wish I had a laundry room - ahem, hint hint!)
5. Once the load is done, I throw the liners and washcloths into the dryer and hang the shells on a drying rack. This is not necessary but will make the liners last a bit longer and keep them looking like new.
6. I put the diapers back together, and snap in the liner and away we go. I try to cycle all the diapers so they all get used and liners washed. The more the liners are washed the better they absorb. (I haven't had any problems with leakage or blow-outs yet).
They still look pretty bulky on him but he will get used to them and grow into them :) We are still using disposables for night time since I have a ton of diapers left and he still wets himself quite a bit at night. He would feel the wetness a lot more with the cloth and probably be up every couple hours. And we all need our sleep :)
So that's my routine. It sounds like a lot, and I guess it is, but every part that I do takes a maximum of 3 minutes, so I am only spending about 15 minutes every two days washing, drying and preparing diapers. Since I do them when he goes to sleep for the night it really isn't an issue.